Examining patient vision

These simple strategies can help to keep your eyes in tip-top shape.

Eyes aren’t just the window to the soul — they’re also your window to the world, which is why it’s so important to keep them healthy. Taking care of your eyes will help to preserve your vision, but it will also decrease your recovery time and increase your likelihood of success should you ever choose to undergo LASIK or any other eye surgery.

Here are five tips to help keep you bright-eyed and seeing clearly:

  1. Eat well

You are what you eat — and that applies to your eyes, too. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and nutrients like lutein, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids have all been shown to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Skip the junk food, and fill up on green leafy vegetables, salmon, tuna, eggs, nuts, beans and plenty of citrus fruits instead. Eating a healthy diet will also help keep your weight down and lower your risk of Type-II Diabetes, which is the number-one cause of blindness in American adults.

  1. Quit smoking

Whether you’ve been smoking for two weeks or 20 years, now is the time to stop. Smoking is a leading cause of cataracts, optic nerve degeneration and macular degeneration (to say nothing of the negative effects it has on the rest of your body).

Quitting can be tough for many people, so make sure you get assistance from your friends, family, and doctor. Every little push can help you get a little closer to quitting for good — all while improving your eye health.

  1. Wear protective eye gear

Eyes are delicate. So whether you’re playing ice hockey or working on your car, make sure you grab a set of polycarbonate goggles. Also, watch out for UVA and UVB rays; while you may not notice any immediate damage, these rays can harm your eyes over time. UV rays contribute to macular degeneration and cataracts, so be sure to wear sunglasses with at least 99% UVA/UVB protection when you’re out in the sun. Wraparound pairs are extra stylish and give you extra protection from sunlight coming in from the side

  1. Take a break from screens

We’re all guilty of spending too much time staring at screens, whether it’s at the office, an addictive game on our phone, or the hottest new TV show. Unfortunately, all those screens can put a lot of strain on your eyes. Aside from strain, too much screen time can cause blurred vision, dry eyes, and headaches.

Luckily, there’s an easy solution: look away. Rest your eyes by looking 20 feet away every 20 minutes, and take longer breaks at least every couple of hours.

Your eye doctor is your top teammate in your fight against eye problems. Regular eye exams can make sure that your vision hasn’t deteriorated and helped diagnose conditions like glaucoma that are sometimes hard to catch on your own. Eye care professionals can also evaluate your family history to see whether you’re at greater risk of developing particular conditions later in life. Everybody should get periodic eye exams, regardless of visual acuity or age.

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